Employee Grievance - Effective Ways of Handling Grievance

Grievance may be any genuine or imaginary feeling of dissatisfaction or injustice which an employee experiences about his job and it’s nature, about the management policies and procedures. It must be expressed by the employee and brought to the notice of the management and the organization. Grievances take the form of collective disputes when they are not resolved. Also they will then lower the morale and efficiency of the employees. Unattended grievances result in frustration, dissatisfaction, low productivity, lack of interest in work, absenteeism, etc. In short, grievance arises when employees’ expectations are not fulfilled from the organization as a result of which a feeling of discontentment and dissatisfaction arises. This dissatisfaction must crop up from employment issues and not from personal issues.

Grievance may result from the following factors-

  1. Improper working conditions such as strict production standards, unsafe workplace, bad relation with managers, etc.
  2. Irrational management policies such as overtime, transfers, demotions, inappropriate salary structure, etc.
  3. Violation of organizational rules and practices

The manager should immediately identify all grievances and must take appropriate steps to eliminate the causes of such grievances so that the employees remain loyal and committed to their work. Effective grievance management is an essential part of personnel management. The managers should adopt the following approach to manage grievance effectively-

  1. Quick action- As soon as the grievance arises, it should be identified and resolved. Training must be given to the managers to effectively and timely manage a grievance. This will lower the detrimental effects of grievance on the employees and their performance.

  2. Acknowledging grievance- The manager must acknowledge the grievance put forward by the employee as manifestation of true and real feelings of the employees. Acknowledgement by the manager implies that the manager is eager to look into the complaint impartially and without any bias. This will create a conducive work environment with instances of grievance reduced.

  3. Gathering facts- The managers should gather appropriate and sufficient facts explaining the grievance’s nature. A record of such facts must be maintained so that these can be used in later stage of grievance redressal.

  4. Examining the causes of grievance- The actual cause of grievance should be identified. Accordingly remedial actions should be taken to prevent repetition of the grievance.

  5. Decisioning- After identifying the causes of grievance, alternative course of actions should be thought of to manage the grievance. The effect of each course of action on the existing and future management policies and procedure should be analyzed and accordingly decision should be taken by the manager.

  6. Execution and review- The manager should execute the decision quickly, ignoring the fact, that it may or may not hurt the employees concerned. After implementing the decision, a follow-up must be there to ensure that the grievance has been resolved completely and adequately.

An effective grievance procedure ensures an amiable work environment because it redresses the grievance to mutual satisfaction of both the employees and the managers. It also helps the management to frame policies and procedures acceptable to the employees. It becomes an effective medium for the employees to express t feelings, discontent and dissatisfaction openly and formally.




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